Hudson Valley Football 2010 Season Preview

The Vikings open up with their only September home game on Saturday, Sept. 4 against Army Prep at 1 p.m.

The Hudson Valley Community College football team neared a bowl bid in 2009 as they went 5-5 (3-2 NFC), losing three games by a total of seven points. So the excitement mounts for the Vikings in 2010, with some key returners, freshmen and transfers, as well as a new coach at the helm.

After eight seasons with Hudson Valley, including five as an assistant, former football head coach, Oji Fagan, accepted a position in the United Football League (UFL), working with the Hartford Colonials' running backs. Fagan went 25-25 overall as head coach and was voted Co-Coach of the Year in the Northeast Football Conference last season.

Replacing Fagan on an interim basis, is Jason Houghtaling. Houghtaling, a Binghamton native, comes to Hudson Valley after serving as an assistant and offensive line coach at NCAA, Division I, Wagner College for the past five seasons. Prior to that, Houghtaling did a two-year stint as defensive coordinator at Milford Academy Prep in Milford, NY where he racked up a 20-3 record. He brings toughness and discipline to the Hudson Valley football program, as well as a wide open offensive style of play.

Houghtaling's new staff of young and enthusiastic coaches is helping to energize the program. Defensive coordinator, Kristofer Kolzer, is a former Viking and Catholic Central High School graduate. Al Phillips recently finished his Arena Football League schedule with the Spokane Shock and comes to Troy to coach the defensive backs. Phillips starred at Wagner College and signed a free agent contract with the New York Jets out of college. Linebackers coach, Cleo Harbison, spent time playing for Indiana University and coached at Milford Academy Prep. Mike Moffitt will be in charge of the offensive line, and has the experience to do so having been a member of the Arkansas Razorback team that reached the 2007 Cotton Bowl. Michael Davidson has a wealth of experience after coaching at NCAA, Division I, Miami University (OH). He will coach the running backs. Finally, Kwame Carlor comes from Marist College following a tremendous four-year career with the Red Foxes. Carlor will look after the wide receivers.

As for the players, offensive tackle and 2009 First-team All-Northeast Football Conference selection, Jeremy Gatson (East, Rochester) leads the Vikings as one of their top returners. Gatson was recognized for his efforts in 2009 and the 6'4", 300-pounder will be looked upon as a big contributor on the offensive side of the ball. Waverly Harris (George Washington, Philadelphia, PA) was a Second-Team All-NFC selection in 2009 for his play at Defensive End. He will help anchor a new look defense for the Vikings this season. Kicker David Fox (Tamarac, Troy) had a tremendous freshman year in 2009 with 58 total points, including 6-for-11 in field goal attempts. Fox was selected as a First-Team All-NFC Special Teams player.

Other notable returners who are expected to be big contributors are outside linebacker Sidiq Soulemana (Dewitt-Clinton, Bronx), wide receiver Tracy Cauthen (East Orange, East Orange, NJ), and linebacker Michael Pearte (Poughkeepsie, Poughkeepsie).  These individuals bring leadership and experience to the program.

The Vikings also have some key freshmen that are expected to make immediate impacts of both side of the ball. Offensively, local Section II standout running back Kenny Youngs (Lansingburgh, Troy) will carry much of the load for Hudson Valley out of the backfield. Freshman wide receiver, Joe Tralli (Croton-on-Hudson, Croton-on-Hudson) is predicted to have a breakout rookie season. Defensively, the freshmen linebacking duo Matt Fallico (Fayetteville-Manlius, Manlius) and Mike Henderson (Kingston, Ruby,NY) will help to solidify the middle of the Viking defense. Defensive backs James Seay (Potomac, Washington, D.C.) and Zane Marks (Milford Prep, New Haven, CT) are expected to add to the Vikings' ability to shutdown the opposition's passing game.